April 2024 Poetry Workshop

INSPIRATION MEETS SPECULATION: a Cascade Writers National Poetry Month event featuring National Poetry Month inspirations from Montana Poet Laureate Chris La Tray + SPECULATIVE POETRY: Writing into the Unknown, a free online workshop!

WHO: Opening presenter: Montana Poetry Laureate (’23-24) Chris La Tray
Workshop facilitators Jeannine Hall Gailey, Brian Garrison, Brianna Malotke
Workshop moderator Tamara Sellman

WHAT: INSPIRATION MEETS SPECULATION: a Cascade Writers National Poetry Month event

To celebrate National Poetry Month in April, Cascade Writers Workshop is offering this FREE online poetry event, leading with a 1-hour inspirational presentation from Chris La Tray (INSPIRATION), followed by an interactive 2-hour workshop with facilitators Jeannine Hall Gailey, Brian Garrison, and Brianna Malotke, moderated by Tamara Sellman, which will serve to answer the question, “What exactly is Speculative Poetry?” (SPECULATION)

Be prepared to be inspired, ask questions, learn about a specific niche of poetry not commonly discussed, play around with writing prompts, and come away motivated, enlightened and ready to write more of your own speculative (or other) poetry!

WHERE: Online! We use Zoom. Registration required to receive your FREE secure Zoom login.

WHEN: Saturday April 20, 2024 from 10am to 1pm Pacific
10am to 11am: Chris La Tray presentation
11am to 1pm: interactive workshop with Jeannine Hall Gailey, Brian Garrison, and Brianna Malotke, moderated by Tamara Sellman

  • From 11am to noon, the workshop facilitators will introduce themselves, share examples of speculative poetry from their own work, and offer their definition of the genre. After this, audience members can ask questions of the facilitators to further investigate what a speculative poem can be (it can be a lot of things!).
  • From noon to 1pm, the workshop facilitators will each offer a unique prompt to  launch a 10-minute writing session, followed by a brief 5-minute sharing session from participants. About 10-15 minutes near the end of the session, there will be another opportunity for participants to ask questions, then we wrap up!

WHY: Chris La Tray is a highly sought speaker and poetry educator that you’ll not want to miss! Also, many members of Cascade Writers write poetry, while others write speculative fiction, both short- and long-form. But speculative writing isn’t just for prose writers! Poets Jeannine Hall Gailey, Brian Garrison, Brianna Malotke, and Tamara Sellman are known for writing that easily aligns with speculative poetry, and they are thrilled to share what that looks like and to discuss myriad ways you can achieve that with your own writing. Here’s your chance to observe National Poetry Month through motivational messages and fun, creative, interactive exercises and maybe even new poems!

HOW: The entire event is FREE; you simply need to register to receive your free secure Zoom login and any pre-workshop materials the facilitators may want you to preview. Click Here to register.

Participants in Zoom are asked to put their pronouns in their image captions. Chat is encouraged and the organizers will strive to record and share it with participants after the event is over.


Chris La Tray

Métis Storyteller and Montana Poet Laureate
Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians
Check out An Irritable Métis: chrislatray.substack.com

Jeannine Hall Gailey is a writer with MS who served as the second Poet Laureate of Redmond, Washington and is the author of Becoming the Villainess, She Returns to the Floating World, Unexplained Fevers, The Robot Scientist’s Daughter, winner of the Moon City Press Book Prize, Field Guide to the End of the World, and the upcoming Flare, Corona from BOA Editions. Her work has been featured on NPR’s The Writer’s Almanac, Verse Daily and The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror. Her poems have appeared in The American Poetry Review, Poetry, and Ploughshares. Her website is www.webbish6.com. Twitter handle: @webbish6.

Brian U. Garrison (he/him) studied computer science and A.I. until he realized neuroscience and human intelligence were much more interesting. Now he writes poetry for children, adults, and grand adults. His work has appeared in Asimov’s, Ember Journal, Fantasy & Science Fiction, Haikuniverse, Science Write Now, Star*Line, and elsewhere. His chapbook New Yesterdays, New Tomorrows (self-published) was nominated for the Elgin Award. His second chapbook is Micropoetry for Microplanets (Space Cowboy Books). He is Managing Editor of the poetry journal Eye to the Telescope.

Brianna Malotke is a writer based in the Pacific Northwest. In addition to being a member and on the social media team for the Horror Writers Association, she’s also co-chair of the Seattle Chapter. She has work in Beautiful Tragedies 2 and 3, The Dire Circle, The Nottingham Horror CollectiveUnder Her Skin, and HorrorScope: A Zodiac Anthology Volumes 1 and 4. In fall of 2023 her debut horror poetry collection, Fashion Trends, Deadly Ends, was released and she was a “Writer in Residence” at the Chateau d’Orquevaux in France. Malotke’s next collection, Lost Cherry, will be published with January Ember Press fall of 2024. She also has a romance novella series, Sugar & Steam, written under the pen name of Tori Fields.

Cascade’s member-at-large Tamara Kaye Sellman is author of Cul de Sac Stories (2024; Aqueduct Press) and Intention Tremor: A Hybrid Collection (2021; MoonPath Press) and recently directed and produced the short poetry film, “Look Up,” which appears at the WRPN Women’s International Film Festival in Summer 2024. Sellman writes across form (poetry, fiction, nonfiction, play, script, journalism) and genre (speculative, literary, experimental). Her work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize or earned other awards. She is currently at work on two speculative novels, a Pacific Northwest gothic speculative poetry collection, 10-minute plays with supernatural themes, and more experimental poetry films. She is the other half of the BENEATH THE RAIN SHADOWS podcast with horror cohort Clay Vermulm. Find her at rhymeswithcamera.com